Monday, 16 September 2019

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Tech-Based Stress

Technology is great when it helps you connect with friends and colleagues, but it can also cause high levels of stress. For example, those who constantly check their phones are likely to report stress levels significantly higher than those who don’t, and heavy use of mobile phones has been linked to sleep disturbances.

Many people consider gadgets like mobile phones and computers to be an essential part of modern life, and it’s hard to turn them off completely. But you can manage your tech use to help reduce the stress it creates.

These are our best suggestions and, if you have others, feel free to post them in the comments.

  1. Audit your tech tools. Once you know that tech stress is an issue, you need to identify if it’s all tech or just specific tools.
    - Write a list of all the gadgets you use, including fitness watches and apps. Brainstorm this over a couple of days to ensure your list is complete.
    - Rate each item on the list for how valuable they are to you, and how much they improve your life. Use a scale of one to five, where five is 'absolutely essential to life or happiness', and one is 'not adding anything to your life'.
    - Think of ways to reduce or eliminate your use of anything you’ve rated under three.
      
  2. Make a plan. Once you know which tech stuff you really need and want to use:
    - Limit your time on even essential tech. Each time you turn on a device be aware of what you want to use it for, and how you will accomplish that without getting distracted.
    - If you’re not using it TURN IT OFF!
    - Schedule regular time away from technology, such as a day without tech or TV. Find something more interesting to do with your time (and avoid the urge to post on social media about it!).
      
  3. Deal with your tech stress triggers. This means finding very specific answers to the question ‘how does tech stress me?’ Keep a diary for at least a week which tracks
    - your emotional state before and after you use each piece of tech on the list you made above.
    - how often you use each piece of tech on your list
    (Ironically enough, a spreadsheet is often good for doing this!)

    Once you’ve done this, look for ways to reduce your use of the ones that stress you the most. Or, at least, change the ways you use them (for example, have separate phones for work and home, then switch off the work ones outside working hours).
    Sometimes even changing your ringtone can help. A recording of your child saying ‘I love you’, your cat purring, or your favourite song puts you in a better frame of mind than a bell or buzzer.
       
  4. Clean up your connections. Go through all of your social media accounts and emails and disconnect yourself from anyone who creates unnecessary stress. Leave any online groups where there is bullying, anger or intolerance. In the future
    - keep your list of contacts smaller, and more positive.
    - switch off notifications; they make you feel you have to interrupt what you’re doing to respond to other people’s online activity.
    - check your phone at set times for messages and posts instead.
    - clean out your email filing and delete old messages. Make your junk rules and filters stronger if you often have a lot of spam to wade through. Remove yourself from mailing lists if you never read the messages.
       
  5. Don’t stress about making changes. If you’re currently checking your messages multiple times an hour, it will take time to reduce it to once or twice a day. It’s important to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to change too fast, and to have realistic expectations of what you can achieve. Make a schedule and reduce your tech gradually. 

Reducing your Technology Stress

  • Give yourself the chance to work through each of these steps and get used to them. Aim for one change a week, or even one a month, until things feel under control.
  • Let family and friends know about your technology changes so they don’t worry about not getting an immediate reply from you.
  • Set up a personal answer-phone message on your mobile and use an automatic response on your email, so people know when you’re likely to get back to them. Set aside specific times each day to return calls or messages.
Stress can come from many parts of your life, including technology. Pay attention to how technology affects you. It may be necessary to evaluate how much you depend on tech tools and make some changes in your daily routines with these tools to reduce your stress. And if you need help, of course, get in touch.


References
https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2017/technology-social-media.pdf




------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Author: is a professional stress management coach, specialising in working with individuals and smaller employers to minimise stress and maximise feeling in control. Debbie is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words and has co-written the Hypnotherapy Handbook both of which are available from Amazon.
Find out more about Debbie's services on www.yorkshirestressmanagement.com  or phone 01977 678593

No comments:

Post a Comment